How to Have Creative Writing Ideas
If you are a writer, don't sit there hoping for ideas. There
are techniques you can use right now to produce as many ideas
as you will need. Here are some of the best and some of the easiest.
"Concept combination" is a great problem solving
technique used especially for creating new products to sell.
It can be used a good way to create new stories, and is usually
good for a few laughs. Just combine old stories into new ones.
For the most creative writing ideas, it is best if the stories
you start with are unrelated in their theme.
For example, if you start with the biblical story of Adam
and Eve, and combine it with the movie, "Star Wars,"
you might get an interesting idea or two. Maybe a man and a woman
are placed alone on a new planet, as an experiment to see what
will happen over the centuries. Would the same ideas about God
and morality arise with time?
Hmm... "King Kong," and "Romeo and Juliette?"
When apes learn to speak, the first human-ape romantic relationship
develops. The young couple is of course rejected by both the
ape and human societies. "Frankenstein" and "Gone
With The Wind?" The possibilities are endless. Start cranking
out those new creative writing ideas.
I once invented a car travel game I called "Explain This."
A person in the car suggests an unusual scenario in a sentence
or two, and then each player explains it in a plausible way.
It was an entertaining way to pass the miles, but it can also
be a great way to come up with story ideas.
Start with an odd scene, anything that pops into your head.
You might start, for example, with "Todd handed out the
dollar bills to the people as they walked by, trying to distribute
as many as he could quickly, before the police could stop him."
Now explain that. Our minds insist on explaining things, so you'll
find an explanation if you try. If it's interesting enough, you
have your next short story.
I imagine the dollar bills are signed or otherwise identifiable,
and can be traded at some big event for a gift worth much more
than a dollar. Perhaps this will go in the marketing ideas file
instead of the creative writing ideas file. Todd could handing
out the last of his money on instructions from the spiritual
leader of a "get rich quick" cult that requires all
members to start from zero. A religious movement based on getting
rich could be a plausible story.
More Ways to Have Creative Writing Ideas
What's in the daily news? Of course, this is a good source
for new stories that is mined by television shows all the time.
However, for a twist that will get the story read, take a real
life issue that is in the news and approach it from a different
perspective. Write the story of a businessman who profiteers
after a hurricane, for example, and find a way to make him the
What stories do you most like? Take a story you really like,
and think about how you would have told it, or how it could be
told, then do it. Romeo and Juliet has been told a hundred ways,
right? Why not find a formula that has been proven to work and
that you like, and do your own updated version?
What do you best understand? More specifically, what do you
understand that other people don't seem to understand? What do
you wish they knew? How can you demonstrate this truth in a story?
Wrap adventure, drama and the elements they want in a story around
a truth that is important to you, and show why it is important.
Showing is always more powerful than just telling, and a fictional
What is most important to you? Take any principle that you
consider to be important, and find a story in it. If honesty
is important, create a story populated with characters that are
defined by how honest or dishonest they are, and show the consequences
of this trait. If a political principle is important to you,
imagine new stories that show what happens when this principle
is followed, or when it isn't.
How do you feel? Emotions are a gold mine of new story ideas
if you approach them properly. They already come from the stories
we tell ourselves. Indignation is from a story of someone doing
something unfair, and jealousy from a story of threatened loyalty.
Take any emotion, and imagine what scenario would evoke it most
strongly. This then, can become a bigger story if you work with
Look for controversial topics. Controversy gets noticed, and
then more people read your writing. Find a new angle on some
hot topic. For example, given that the bible instructs us to
kill people for working on the wrong day (Exodus 31:15), or saying
the wrong words (Leviticus 24:17) or because they're homosexual
(Leviticus 20:13), what would happen if people took those words
seriously? That could be a story that is noticed.
Make a list until you find a story. Take any of the techniques
mentioned above and use it to make a list. If you are scouring
the news for new stories, for example, write down everything
that is on the evening news if it is even a little bit interesting.
To create a "principles in action" story, list all
the moral principles that are important to you. Then review these
lists until one of the items there grabs you. Start with that.
It's better to write anything, and do it right now. English
writer Graham Green attributes much of his success to a simple
habit: He forced himself to write at least 500 words daily, whether
he felt like it or not. Perhaps creative inspiration can strike
at any time, but it strikes more often when there is work instead
of waiting. Start writing and you'll have more creative ideas.
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